The Invisible Man is character orientated in its own way, but by taking a distant tone to illustrate the isolation of genius from society, the corruption of power. HG Wells makes sure the man isn’t even that likeable, although of course my silly heart felt compassion sometimes anyway.
If you’re familiar with the Universal classic movie, the first chapters – that is his time at the Inn – is pretty identical in sequence and outcome in the film. Thankfully the shrew innkeeper woman wasn’t as madly annoying – worked in the movie but with the book it would have felt out of place. After he leaves in the inn, the story becomes a tale all of its own, leaving out most of the film events.
There is no redeeming romantic interest, no well-respected friends or colleagues waiting by his side in support. Apparently the point of the story is that his isolation has made him seek out further isolation. In the book he’s an albino and generally despised before invisibility. By the time he has taken his potions and transformed, he cares not for society; his drive to succeed with his advances is not spurred on by needing acceptance.
The theme and beginning are well imagined. The ending was tragic and excellent. Dialogue – I loved it when the Invisible man conversed with others, his intelligence shows through with his madness. I do think HG Wells could have done more with the story material, especially during the middle, which lagged a bit at times.
I enjoyed HG Well’s writing style – looking forward to trying more of his stuff.
“Alone-- it is wonderful how little a man can do alone! To rob a little, to hurt a little, and there is the end.”
“To do such a thing would be to transcend magic. And I beheld, unclouded by doubt, a magnificent vision of all that invisibility might mean to a man—the mystery, the power, the freedom. Drawbacks I saw none. You have only to think! And I, a shabby, poverty-struck, hemmed-in demonstrator, teaching fools in a provincial college, might suddenly become—this.”
“But giving drugs to a cat is no joke, Kemp!”
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